Non-Slovenians who speak English: I've never been a tenant in Slovenia (thank fuck) but in over 19 years here have experienced the many forms of prejudice, anti-modernity, and weird ideas you will encounter.

If you have been suckered into coming here by PR lies like I was, and need more than the very friendly offers of help from locals - who really just want to meet someone who knows something and practice their English without paying the 30 euros per hour they charge each other - you can ask me your question and I will do my best.

Contact details here.

While this site stands out as something of an exception, the majority of the allegedly helpful organisations are merely Potemkin villages.

And like all villagers Slovenians are generally more sensitive about their perceived collective reputation than your problems with their extensive bureaucracies - which unfortunately do not pay enough for their employees to understand them. Usually you have to explain their own rules to them and this will be followed by shrugging.

As there is a yawning chasm between the legal theory and practice, my advice is to think like a scheming but rudderless blackmailer from the get-go.

Consequently your landlord-hunting focus should be on gathering kompromat, whether it's infidelity, drugs, hate speech, building regulations, his bald tyres - anything. Everything.

Yes, you think this is unfair. Don't settle for second place. Don't rely on reasonableness or empathy. Depending on their Yugosity, your landlord may not see this transaction as a two-way street.

Anticipate a sort of emotionally labile person. What seems like chill can quickly turn to chilly.

Turn on your voice recorder before arrival. And switch on your inner bitch.

Boss the show and give no quarter. For actually, your putative profiteer will appreciate you telling them how to landlord. Ignore thought-terminating cliches such as "This is Slovenia."

But it's a seller's market.

So what? Remember who's paying.

Bluff as he might, the seller is perfectly aware that most of your locally-sourced competition is drunk, unreliable and experienced solely at living with their parent(s) - just like him.

In touristy areas you may be expected to clear off in the summer months so he can rent out to visitors at even more exorbitant prices.

An important metric of realism with Slovenians generally is whether they have ever lived abroad themselves. This can be regarded as a powerful cure.

Innocently slip in a question about this at their interview. Or if possible, test your potential landlord's cosmopolitanism using The West Test.

If it's not written down and signed you've got nothing. If the landlord won't let on a legal basis and - inevitably - threatens to find somebody else if you don't agree, pretend to start calling the Police right there in front of them. Dial 113.

Take pepper spray to the first meeting in case things kick off - it's legal in Slovenia.

After taking possession, spray liberally when they start walking in unannounced. They are legally entitled to look in once a year, not every day to check for dust, use the washing machine, investigate your underwear (unless this is specified in your contract) or rearrange your possessions. Change the lock.

If you think I'm kidding, read these stories - and I'm sure this is not the worst.

Yugo-era accommodation was often not designed with individual independence in mind. Everyone kept an eye on each other, and not in a good way.

However polite and charming they may appear until they have your deposit, the owners of this society really don't like the idea of two or more foreigners ganging up against them and their nonsense.

Your Yugolord honestly does not see how he cannot sell something but also keep it, including a right.

Privacy is an abstract concept of which he knows little. He thinks he can have his cake and eat it.

After you have bought something at an agreed price, the assumption is that you owe him, for doing you this favour. They will chip away, storing things or moving walls to your detriment. Refuse or renegotiate, again in writing.

The faster the turnover, the more deposits they can steal. A game of invented excuses will ensue.

Photograph every square centimetre on arrival. Do not forget to remind them that not issuing receipts is an offence under Slovenian statute ZvPOT-1 with a fine of up to 5000 euros (Article 240).

When your interpreter friend launches into an untranslated dialogue or ignores a big chunk of information and stares into space, you are losing.

You are a foreign invader and anything resembling human dignity or a foothold on Slovenian soil will be resisted.

Insults to Slovenian culture include not speaking the language it is not their job to teach, having a partner over (promiscuity), and having anything.

For a guide to the education system, see here.

For banking and antidepressants, try this one.

You will meet some nice people too. But when it comes to accommodation they will probably be having the same problems as you.

The tragedy is, landlords are victims too, of an incoherent system no one understands or believes in. Their system.

Renting in Slovenia is not for the psychologically defeated. If you are not sufficiently robust for all this, consider seeking shelter in a mental hospital instead.

In Slovenia, doing or having anything is illegal if you look hard enough.

But the main targets of prosecution are people who are not tough enough and, often, not Slovenian enough.

It is the only solidarity they know.

Happy hunting!




"Wherever you go, it's the same: no animals, no children, no registration of residence...

...How is this possible? You live somewhere and pay rent, but you can't register there?"